cover image A Whisper of Southern Lights

A Whisper of Southern Lights

Tim Lebbon., $11.99 trade paper (128p) ISBN 978-0-7653-9023-3

The third in Lebbon's Assassin series (after Pieces of Hate) is a taut and well-told tale that suffers mainly from adding little to the well-worn "war is hell" ground it covers. Nearly immortal protagonist Gabriel continues his search for his eternal enemy, the demonic assassin Temple. His quest brings him to the easternmost portion of the British Empire during WWII, during the fall of Singapore. Soldier Jack Sykes just saw his friend get killed, and his friend's dead body told him of a buried secret. After Jack is captured by the Japanese, both Gabriel and Temple search the prison camps trying to find him and the secret he carries. Lebbon certainly doesn't hold back on the gruesomeness and atrocities that are central to war and very much a part of the events in the Pacific theater, but many others have portrayed them similarly. The core story of Gabriel's search and Jack's realization that horrors exist beyond war is almost too short to be properly engaging, and though this installment still works as another chapter in Gabriel's ongoing story, it ends up feeling like an unfulfilling placeholder. (May)